Alcohol brewers have moved to court to appeal a ruling, which ordered that they should submit their advertisements to the Kenya film classification board for vetting before they run on TV.
The Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya (ABAK), in their appeal, argues that advertisements are not films and therefore regulating them is outside KFCB mandate.
“The judgment is extremely problematic in that it adopts a simplistic factual definition of film and adjudges television advertisements as audio-visual films,” said lawyer Peter Wanyama for the brewers.
In January last year, KFCB obtained court orders barring Kenya Breweries and other brewers from advertising beer and other alcoholic drinks during the watershed period (5 am to 10 pm).
The Ezekiel Mutua led board argued that there was a need to protect children from exposure to harmful content and that beer and alcoholic drinks adverts were not suitable for the watershed.
The ruling by Justice Joseph Mativo’s followed a case lodged by the Alcoholic Beverages Association of Kenya challenging the Kenya Film Classification Board’s (KFCB) mandate to regulate audio-visual commercials aired on radio and television.
In his ruling, the judge agreed with KFCB’s position that it was within its mandate to regulate the content of adverts, contrary to the position taken by the petitioners.
“The Kenya Information and Communication Act of 2013 (KICA) gives KFCB the mandate to monitor television stations in order to ensure that content meant for adult audiences is not aired during the watershed period,” Justice Joseph Mativo’s said.